A federal judge in Louisiana has dismissed an Americans with Disabilities Act claim by a service customer with a prosthetic leg who allegedly slipped on an oily patch at a dealership. However, the judge allowed her to pursue traditional premises liability and negligence claims in state court.
The suit named dealership owner Gregg Orr, who is described in court filings as a corporate officer and director, as the only defendant. His dealership, Orr Cadillac of Shreveport, was not named in the suit.
According to the decision, Whitney Brock brought her mother's car to the store for servicing in January 2022. She said she slipped and fell outside the service garage where it was parked, falling onto her back and hitting her head on the concrete. The suit sought $80,000 for mental anguish, emotional distress, medical expenses and other damages.
Brock wears a prosthesis because her leg was amputated below the knee, according to the decision. She asserted her mother's car should have been brought to her "as a courtesy" and as "proper customer service."
In a July 5 decision, U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. found no basis to hold Orr personally liable for the slip and fall.
Under the federal disabilities law, only the corporate dealership could be held legally liable for the accident, he said. In addition, Orr denied overseeing or managing the dealership's day-to-day operation and wasn't at the store the day of the accident, according to court filings.
Hicks said Brock also failed to allege Orr or any employee knew about her disability, nor did she explicitly contend that she was subjected to discrimination based on a disability.
Orr's lawyers did not respond to questions from Automotive News.